Agriculture

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The recent economic growth shown in Tanzania has not done nearly as much as it should to reduce poverty and hunger or improve health and education. Agriculture is one of the leading sectors in Tanzania’s economy, involving approximately 80% of Tanzanians. It contributes substantially to the GDP, accounts for about one fifth of the foreign earnings and supports the livelihoods of more than two thirds of the population. It accounts for half of the national income and three quarters of the merchandise exports in the country. An average small farm uses traditional cultivation methods and cultivates between 0.9 hectares and 3.0 hectares. Agriculture in Tanzania is threatened by poor seeds and growing conditions, and lack of technology and market opportunities. To accelerate Tanzania’s development it is necessary to focus on programs in agriculture and fisheries, which together provide livelihoods for three quarters of all Tanzanians.

To address this situation, Mater Dei USA(MDUSA) works with communities to identify areas to improve agricultural production and food security, and find possible solutions.  MDUSA has already initiated several programs, including:

  1. Providing improved seeds adapted to the local environment and teaching farmers new farming technology.
  2. Introducing mini agricultural machines and tools such as small tractors, planters, rototillers, etc.
  3. Construction of a Learning Center to enable farmers to learn new technologies, marketing strategies, crop rotation, composite manure, microfinance, storage system etc.
  4. Construction of fish ponds which provide fish for villagers and act as pilot areas where people can learn how to construct their own small fishponds.

The idea to develop demonstrational farms linked to an adult learning center began when Fr. Setonga was studying at the University of Iowa and had the opportunity to visit farms ranging in size from five acres to thousands of acers, both grain and livestock, cross-pollinated and organic grains, The idea was “there must be an ideal size farm that can support one family of four at a one -time fixed start-up cost; plus operate at a profit. To test this idea, farmers in Tanzania will have to try new methods and learn basic business principles.
A FIVE ACER FARM was chosen and all estimates to become a profitable farm family are based on this size farm working co-operatively with other farmers. We have the land but we need your support to fund the next ten farms.

Please visit individual agricultural project techniques by following the links below:

Cattle Breeding

Fish Ponds

Goat Grazing and Fallow Period

Composting & Fertilizing

Seed & Row Spacing With Estimated Yields

Planting & Harvesting Charts

Model for Two Farm Families Growing Ten Crops

Farm Start-Up Costs

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Sustainable Farming

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Sustainable Farms

We currently have two farm programs and hope to buy another 20 acres at a cost of $7000.

Can you help start the next farm?

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Psalm 42:1 For the music director; a well-written song by the Korahites. As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God!

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